App review by Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Education | Updated December 2014
Maya Quiz: The Best Family-friendly History Trivia Game For Kids And Adults!
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Maya Quiz: the best family-friendly history trivia game for kids and adults!

Absorbing quizzes demand thorough knowledge of Mayan life

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Subjects & Skills
Social Studies, Critical Thinking

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Pros: Great images and probing questions make for a comprehensive, interdisciplinary test of knowledge of Mayan culture.

Cons: There’s nowhere to learn this info for the first time, so a high level of prior knowledge is assumed.

Bottom Line: A great tool in the context of other info about the Maya, but look elsehwere for an entry point.

Use Maya Quiz as a way to test kids' knowledge during a larger unit on Mayan life and culture. Use different quizzes as pre-tests and final review questions. Ask kids to design their own questions in the style of this game, including drawing Mayan homes, clothing, tools, and buildings. Use Maya Quiz for inspiration in your classroom, possibly organizing units around the quizzes' five themes.

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Maya Quiz is a flashcard quiz app that tests kids’ knowledge of ancient Mayan life and culture. Ten-question quizzes are available in five categories: Math and Time; Daily Life; Religion and Government; Central America; and History. Each quiz features vivid illustrations, and questions range from simple identification (“What’s the name of this temple?”) to more critical-thinking questions ("What kind of tool would you use to excavate this item?"). The main page tracks the user's all-time score on each quiz, including the number of questions right, number attempted, and percent correct. Users can easily share their scores to the device's Game Center or reset their scores for another try.

This app’s developers include professional archaeologists and historians, and that expertise is on brilliant display here. The range of information covered in the quizzes is impressive: There are maps, information about archaeological techniques (“Which tool would you use to excavate this artifact?”), Mayan culture, history, geography, and architecture. 

Unfortunately, while the quiz questions demand a high level of presumed knowledge, the content knowledge they require isn't available elsewhere in the app. While some kids might learn well through flashcards, others might be discouraged by seeing this information for the first time in this context. This app would be even better if there were a way to browse and revisit the content covered on the flashcards, perhaps through a narrative or article from the expert developers, or through a clickable glossary of the game's flashcards. An opportunity to compare, contrast, and otherwise learn more from this information would put the excellent content available here to even richer use.

Overall Rating


Quizzes are easy to play and replay. Images and questions are consistently engrossing.


Quiz questions are well designed, and some even demand critical thinking. However, there's nowhere in the app to review or study the content.


Beyond the quiz categories, there's little direction or context for the information or gameplay.

Common Sense reviewer
Patricia Monticello Kievlan Foundation/nonprofit member

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